Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Care for Your Farbman Woolly Mammoth

Your Farbman Woolly Mammoth will come when you call him.
We think.

Welcome and Congratulations!

You are now the proud owner of a wonderful new household pet for you and your family known as a Woolly Mammoth.  

Your Woolly Mammoth has been cloned for you by Farbman Inc.,  Cloners of Fine Quality Mammals Since 2011. 

You will find that your Farbman Woolly Mammoth will make a superb companion and great watch animal, at least so far as we’re able to tell right now with the absolute dearth of information we have. 


Your Complete Owner’s Manual

This hastily assembled manual will tell you everything you need to know about the care and handling of your Farbman Woolly Mammoth --- at least so far as we’re able to tell right now with the absolute dearth of information we have.

We recommend you read it thoroughly and keep it handy by placing it directly on the body of your Mammoth, but not anywhere such that when you dislodge it for review purposes your Mammoth is seized with an overwhelming urge to breed.
History of Your Pet

In 2010, Professor Lance Lewitsky of the the University of Havertown PA made the discovery of a lifetime while on an anthropological dig in Siberia. Professor Lewitsky discovered that it is extremely cold in Siberia and that for the most part, he didn’t like it.

He also discovered the extremely well-preserved remains of an over 10,000 year old Woolly Mammoth, which he and members of his team came to refer to as Zsa Zsa. 

Determining the mammoth's genetic material was intact, Professor Lewitsky contacted the University’s Department of Opportunistic Scientists, and Zsa Zsa’s DNA was promptly decoded for cloning purposes and a weekend geek-lark. 


You will need a very large bowl. Unless you are a member of the kitchen staff of New Jersey Governor Christie, look for an abandoned satellite dish at your town’s dump or steal some neighbor’s above ground swimming pool and turn it upside down. 

Woolly Mammoths are herbivores. We think. 

Fill the bowl with whatever you can find outside that’s green, such as grass, bushes, plants, the siding on your house, members of the Green Bay Packers, or actor Seth Green.  Especially actor Seth Green.

Do this 7 to 8 times a day or until your Mammoth indicates satiation by tusk-nudging you towards the ice cream.


Your Mammoth must be walked in the wee small hours of the morning each and every day of the year regardless of the degree to which the blood in your veins  turns into the type of dark cherry water ice the high school girl at Rita’s is always saying about  “Sorry, sir! It’s just too frozen to scoop!” 

You will no doubt encounter many of your neighbors all walking their mundane doggie-woggies. These are the same people who’ve been looking down their noses at you for years, convinced you’re not good enough for the neighborhood. 

And now, at last you have them!

Sidle on over to the snooty Mrs. Goldstein and let her know that while your pet’s heritage harkens back to the days of the earliest cave paintings of Regis Philbin in France, her poodle’s genesis extends as far back as puberty for the last designated Disney Princess. 

Inform that blowhard Al Cowan that while his border collie begins to shake and quiver at the mere mention of the name Michael Vick, yesterday your pet ate Michael Vick. 

Make sure Jennifer Horowitz, the still hot 40-something divorcee, knows that when your pet marks off territory the upper boundary is in New Hampshire while when her schnauzer does the same, the northernmost boundary is your shoe.


Select a gentle but powerful shampoo.  A good choice is “Head, Tusk, & Shoulders.” 

Lather, rinse, repeat. Then lather, rinse, repeat, lather, rinse, repeat, lather, rinse, repeat, and lather, rinse, repeat, and lather, rinse, repeat, then .... 

Next, you are going to need a comb, brush, eight or nine foot long hair dryer, and 400 rollers.  Allot the remainder of the week. 

House Breaking

Yes. Almost certainly.


Look for another Mammoth that’s really cute --- but if not, at least one that’s fair to middling with a good personality. Whether or not the family has money or is Jewish is optional and up to you.

That’s about all we’ve got for you here. We really don’t want to have to watch what happens next. 

You're kind of on your own.


By following the few simple guidelines above, you and your Farbman Woolly Mammoth should enjoy years of happiness and companionship together! We think.

But please don't call us. There is no help desk.  There are masses of Mammoth poop though.

Because at Farbman Inc. --- Cloners of Fine Quality Mammals Since 2011 --- we can’t even find our own building!


Saturday, February 12, 2011



James Bond – Agent 007 ................................... Sean Connery

M – Head of the British Secret Service ………….......... Bernard Lee
NapkinDad – Evil Mastermind ....................... @TheNapkinDad 
Gabryyl* – Woman of Mystery ................................. @Gabryyl
Kristenry - New Partner to 007 ............................. @Kristenry 
Miss SarahGale Penny - Secretary to M .............. @SarahGale

*Note 1:  Although it has since changed, at the time she starred in NapkinDad! Gabryyl was was using on her Twittersite  an avatar of a beautiful woman's eye, and it is upon this avatar which her character is premised. Cool with that, folks?

Note 2:

It all began as a shameless Twitter ploy to attract followers to my blog … and probably should have ended that way! A while back I issued a tweet offering to mention the next follower of this blog, “Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute,” in an upcoming blog post. Miraculously, not just one --- but four --- wonderful tweeters took me up on it.

Realizing I now had the cast for a major Hollywood motion picture, I decided to star them in a more grand scale production. So, after months of hard work, retakes, budget woes, and dealing with those ever-present Hollywood egos, I am proud to present to you the four great tweeters shown above starring in the new James Bond Thriller, NapkinDad!

Even if this all turns out to suck, you ought to follow them!


Scene 1

Office of M, Head of the British Secret Service.

M (to himself): Hope 007 makes it on time. The most important mission we’ve ever had, and it’s all in his lap --- so to speak. Someone’s coming … who’s there?

Bond enters, suavely.

Bond:  Bond. (pause) James Bond. 

M: Why do you always say your name that way, 007?

Bond: Because I always blank on my first name, damn it! But I’m in therapy, it’ll work out.

M: 007, ever hear of a man named NapkinDad?

Bond: Of course! Paints wonderful pictures on napkins. I follow him on Twitter.

M: Well, we have reason to believe your Mr.NapkinDad is secretly attempting to acquire the entire world’s supply of napkins!

Bond: For what purpose? To throw a dinner party for the cast of Glee? To construct a bib for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie?

M: We don't yet know. We only know one thing: He loves only napkins!

Voice of Shirley Bassey: He loves only Napkins! Only Napkins! He loves Napkins!!! ........

(Okay, so it's really the theme to "Goldfinger." Extrapolate!  It's the best we can do.)

M: Find out what he’s up to and stop him, 007! I fear for the lower lips and chins of every man, woman, and child in the free world. By the way, I’m assigning you a partner on this case.

Bond: Another double O agent, sir?

M: No, you’re going to be working with a new agent, a young woman named Kristenry.

Bond: Does she carry a license to kill?

M: No. But she does have a license to do The Three Stooges eye poke.

Bond: Just as effective. You know, M, I’ve always wondered: Why don’t you have any other letters in your name?

M: It’s a Jewish thing, 007. I was named after a deceased uncle.

Bond: His name was M?

M: No, it was Murray. Thought M a bit more rakish than Murray Plotstein! Now get to work and no mildly sexual innuendo-filled playful banter with Miss SarahGale Penny on the way out!

Bond lightly bows to M and exits room, suavely.

Scene 2

Bond and Kristenry approach the entrance to NapkinDad Enterprises.

Kristenry: It’s really an honor to work with you, 007.

Bond: I imagine it would be. Just stick close to me, Kristenry, and do what I do.

Bond opens the door, stumbles over the entrance, trips into the building lobby nearly knocking over a tropical fish tank, and falls squat on the floor.

Kristenry: You were saying ….

Bond: (rising) Well, not everything I do!

Gabryyl comes forward through the lobby, walking up to Bond and Kristenry.

Gabryyl: Hello, I’m Ms. Gabryyl, Mr. NapkinDad’s personal assistant. Whom may I say is falling…. I mean, calling.

Bond:   My name’s Frumpkin. (pause) Al Frumpkin.   

Gabryyl: Why do you say your name that way, Mr. Frumpkin?

Bond: Because I always blank on my first name, damn it! But I’m in therapy, it’ll work out.

Gabryyl:  What business do you have with Mr. NapkinDad, Mr. Frumpkin?

Bond: My associate, Ms. Kristenry, and I have an offer to make Mr. NapkinDad. We believe he will find it as appealing as Kleenex Double Ply Paper Napkins in the all-new decorative Cinnamon Spice dispenser!

Gabryyl: Then come right this way!

Gabryyl leads the two of towards NapkinDad’s office.

Bond: May I say, Ms. Gabryyl, you have the most beautiful eye I’ve ever seen! And, you have two of them! That’s a good number for eyes.

Gabryyl: (with apparent appreciation) Thank you, Mr. Bond, you’re very kind. Yes, I’ve always favored two myself.

The three enter the office of NapkinDad, who gets up from his desk when they enter.

NapkinDad: Thank you, Ms. Gabryyl. Whom do we have here?

Bond: I’m Al Frumpkin, Mr. NapkinDad. This is Ms. Kristenry. I’ll come to the point: I have access to a rare shipment of never used cocktail napkins from the May 14, 1995 Bar Mitzvah of Jeffrey Herzberg at Temple Boray Perry Hagulfen in White Plains, NY. Interested?

NapkinDad : Oh my word, yes! They’re gilt-edged with artist renderings of Jeffrey sweating profusely in an ill-fitting suit in front of the Torah. Priceless!

Bond: As was Jeffrey’s Saturday night affair with 12 piece band, carving stations, and whiskey sour fountain! You are indeed an expert, Mr. NapkinDad!

NapkinDad: I must have them, Mr. Frumpkin!

Bond: Fine, but first I have to make sure your money’s green. Or at least a light turquoise with lavendar background and mauve highlights.

NapkinDad: Ms. Gabryyl will take you to dinner and discuss all the particulars you will need to know. Meanwhile, I’ll give Ms. Kristenry a tour of my World of Napkins History Exhibit. Did you know, Ms. Kistenry, that Leonardo Da Vinci invented the floral design napkin?

Scene 3

Bond and Gabryyl are at dinner in a posh restaurant later that day.

Gabryyl: So, Mr. Frumpkin: have you always been an eye man?

Bond: Yes, Gabryyl. To me, there’s nothing in the world like a woman in a burka.

Gabryyl: And how do you find my eyes?

Bond: I just look slightly above your nose and there they are!

Gabryyl: You are an intriguing man, Mr. Frumpkin! Did I perhaps ever meet you on Twitter?

Bond: Yes, I tweet a bit, but nothing like you have …. With your nefarious scheme to take over Twitter three years ago!

Gabryyl: You recognized me! Yes, I tried a Twitter take-over! Say that fast five times!

Bond: You sent out tweets urging the Twitterverse to rise up against @aplusk! Bad business, that!

Gabryyl: Yes, and it would have worked too --- if only @AndersonCooper and @ShitMyDadSays hadn’t throw their support behind @aplusk! But I’m a changed woman, Mr. Frumpkin, now that I work for Mr. NapkinDad!

Bond: You admire him greatly?

Gabryyl: Oh yes. As totally obsessive egomaniacs go, he’s the best. He wants to create a bridge of napkins from coast to coast to show how all the world is linked by linen! Isn’t that stirring?

Bond: I’m shaken, not stirred.

Gabryyl: Oh, I see a bit of egg noodle on your cheek, Mr. Frumpkin. Let me get it with this bodacious yet charming beige and burgundy restaurant napkin.

As Gabryyl wipes Bond’s face, he instantly falls forward, his head splashing into his soup. The napkin is drugged!

Gabryyl (to Bond, with remorse) I’m sorry, James; It has to be this way. (to the waiter) Excuse me, waiter, there’s a British agent in my soup!

The waiter helps Gabryyl lift Bond and they both begin carrying him out of the restaurant.

Scene 4

Back in the headquarters of NapkinDad. NapkinDad and Gabryyl stand over Bond.

NapkinDad: Wake up, Mr. Bond. Wake up!

Bond: (coming to) Hello. You’re either NapkinDad or the biggest matzo ball I’ve ever seen!

NapkinDad: Laugh now, Mr. Bond! Since you won’t leave here alive, would you like me to tell you about my evil value proposition?

Bond: Why not? Slow day otherwise.

NapkinDad: It’s true I seek to acquire every last napkin in the world. Linen, paper, sanitary…. You name it!

Bond: But how?

NapkinDad: Many ways --- by purchase, theft, by always asking for a lot more napkins than we actually need whenever we’re at Olive Garden….

Gabryyl: Once we’ve got all of the world’s napkins, James, whenever anyone anywhere in the world sits down to a meal, they’ll have nothing to place in their laps. Unless they should get lucky with their dates!

NapkinDad: We live, Mr. Bond, in a world filled with mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, chocolate pudding, and my own personal favorite, zesty ranch dressing with bacon bits and locks of Justin Bieber’s hair!

Gabryyl: Without napkins, there’ll be millions and millions of previous undreamt-of stains on Capri pants, dresses, skirts, nightgowns, frilly robes ….

NapkinDad: And even on clothing worn by women too!

Bond: But how does that help you? Are you going to go door to door slurping ranch dressing stains off of people’s cargo shorts?

Gabryyl: It helps us by strengthening our special partners in our plan for world domination!

Bond: Your special partners?

NapkinDad: Yes, Mr. Bond! The World's Dry Cleaners!

Gabryll:  James!  You mean,  you didn’t know all dry cleaners throughout the world are evil?

Bond: My God! I’ve long suspected it …

NapkinDad: You know how sometimes they put a stain in your clothing that wasn’t there to begin with and then deny it to your face? I MADE THAT ONE UP MYSELF!! Ah hah hah hah hah!!!

Bond: You fiend!

Gabryyl: Dry cleaners everywhere will jack up their prices even higher --- if that’s possible --- and a desperately stained populace will pay the tow!

Bond: And you will use your share of the evil profits to finance mayhem and insurrection throughout the world! But how did you know who I was?

Kristenry enters the room.

Bond: Oh, Kristenry, good. Go ahead, tell NapkinDad to pick out two.

Kristenry: No, 007. They knew who you were because I told them! Because I am not Kristenry at all, but a master of disguise --- one who wears many hats.

Kristenry removes a full head mask to reveal ….

Bond: Blofeld! Ernst Stavro Blofeld!

Blofeld: The one and only, Mr. Bond! To ensure success of our dastardly plan, I infiltrated the Secret Service pretending to be a tweeter from West Chester PA. Lovely place by the way … and we get to root for the Phillies!

Bond: I’m not sure whether to feel silly or sad about the whole thing!

Blofeld: Feel sad, Mr. Bond! (approaches Bond with a hanger, plastic bag, and dry cleaner's ticket) You’re about to be cleaned, pressed, and double-bagged! Ah hah hah hah!

Bond: In that case, Blofeld, I’d like to be ready for pick-up by Thursday, if possible.

Bond notices Miss SarahGale Penny sneaking into the room behind the others, brandishing a bottle of Cabernet. Miss SarahGale Penny smashes Blofeld over the head but does not knock him out, and all three villains turn in her direction...

Bond: Great work, SarahGale Penny! Compelling yet poignant!

Bond lunges forward and with moves that make Jackie Chan look like the kid who was picked last in gym class --- y'know, like you and me --- he disarms Blofeld of his uncompleted laundry ticket, knocks both Blofeld and NapkinDad unconscious, and wrestles Gabryyl to the ground.

Gabryyl: Oooohhhh! So sorry, James! (collapses, falling unconscious.)

Bond: I’m sorry too, Gabryyl. Think maybe I’ll be a uvula man from now on. (to Miss SarahGale Penny) And how did you come to be here, SarahGale Penny?

SarahGale Penny: You and I didn’t have the opportunity to engage in our usual mildly sexual innuendo-filled playful banter back in the office, James. Thought we’d catch up with it now.

Bond: What do you  say we deliver this would-be Triumverate of Evil to M, SarahGale Penny, and enjoy your bottle of Cabernet together?

SarahGale Penny: Wonderful, James! But what if we should spill any of it? Wherever would we get any …

Bond: (innocently) Napkins?

Voice of Shirley Bassey: NapkinDad! He’s the man, the man with the Marcal touch ….…

Extropolate!  Extrapolate!

The End of NapkinDad

But James Bond will be back in ….

The Spy who Sanitized Me
(in 3-D!)

Credits Role.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Cut-Off

No, not this kind of Cut-Off!

I never question the authority of the Cut-Off.

The Cut-Off, so-called, exists to tell us that we’re growing old in ways we never dreamed of or imagined. And when you get to be my age, Cut-Offs of all kinds come flying at you like bodies in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

My 15 year old son Brandon and I were one day in Borders, perusing with no particular purpose, when I picked up a couple of books and plunked my 60 year old butt down on the floor.

“Dad!” gasped Brandon. “Get up!”

“What?” I said.

“Someone your age cannot sit on the floor! People will think you’re having a heart attack! Isn’t Borders in enough trouble!?"

I simply hadn't realized it.

I’d reached the point in life where placing my can upon the carpeting acts to rip a hole in the space-time continuum!  Invisible but nonetheless fully existent sulfur spewing demons from a parallel dimension were no doubt dispersing themselves throughout Borders, checking out historical romances and ordering lattes from the Cafe.

“Okay, Brandon,” I asked sadly. “What is the Cut-Off?

“38, I’d say.  42 tops.”

I arose. As I said, I'm not one to challenge the authority of the Cut-Off!

Some Cut-Offs are obvious. I would never, for example, think of wearing a baseball cap backwards. Whenever a guy even many years my junior attempts to sport a backwards baseball cap, he looks like he’s not sure what direction he’s going in.

Show me a 60 year old guy with a baseball cap on backwards, and I’ll show you a guy who may well attempt to get places the rest of his life by backing up.

The Cut-Off?  25.  At most.

There are many Cut-Offs in the world of growing older, virtually all of which I am on the wrong side of.   Here's a brief but admittedly woefully incomplete guide to just a few of them:

Calling a male friend “dude.” Cut-Off: 32

 Calling a male friend “man.” Cut-Off: 54

Calling a male friend altogether. Cut-Off: whatever age you first have children.

Using the word “awesome.” Cut-Off: 41.

Using the word “splendid.” Cut-Off: None.  And it’s a splendid word to use to replace “awesome” when you’re past the Cut-Off for "awesome."

Wearing Painter’s Pants. Cut-Off: 27, unless you happen to actually paint houses for a living.

Stacking the cream containers on the table at the diner to see how high you can get them to go until they fall over. Cut-Off: 19. Sure you can do it when you’re older. But what’s cute and funny when you’re a teenager is liable to nervously empty each and every table adjacent to yours when you're 62!

Going on an amusement park ride called the “The Exterminator Terminator Wowie IV!” Cut-Off: Cannot ever be soon enough!

Brandon and I were one day watching a rerun of That 70's Show when I happened to say to him: “Brandon, you know which of the two young women on the show, Donna or Jackie, I find most visually appealing?” I admit that when I posed the inquiry, “most visually appealing " was not actually the precise verbiage I employed.

Brandon turned a color that can only be described as not existing in nature, and at once I realized I had out-Hefnered Hefner, out-Humbert Humberted Humbert Humbert, and gone all the way to out-little old guying the little old guy who married Anna Nicole Smith!

 Dadthose are teenage girls!!!"

“Brandon," I sighed, "what is the Cut-Off for admiring young girls?” In this instance, having been chastened, I did indeed utilize the verb “admiring.”

“27.  And no higher!”  responded Brandon. “And you are disgusting!”

“Just so I know for the future," I asked wearily, "who is it okay for me to think hot?"

Betty White,” said Brandon. “Because there is no Cut-Off!”

Betty White is great, no doubt about it.

But this was the most unkindest Cut-Off of all.